Islay - Oronsay - Colonsay - Jura - part 2

Overnight, the wind had picked up - I was woken several times as strong gusts rattled across the bay, buffeting the tent. It was not the most restful night and I had some concerns about the crossing to Jura - still, we could assess things from the top of Colonsay before setting off on the 15km route across to Shian Bay.
In fact, by the time we had carried the boats across the sands, the winds had dropped quite significantly...
...and though long gusts continued for some time at up to F5, conditions were clearly improving - beneath the cliffs we avoided the stronger gusts and made quick progress north.
The low swell remained, once again giving entertaining conditions close in amongst the reefs...
...while the clear northern light threw the cliffs above into sharp relief.
Passing Kiloran Bay, the swell washed across several small reefs...
...we watched and then surfed across, timing the run with some care...
...before picking our way north through intricate channels once more.
A slightly larger reef - no one really fancied surfing across this one...
...and before long we pulled into the sheltered beach immediately north of Rubh' a  Geodha. There had been a small race running off the northern headland of Colonsay and now, our little cove looked directly across to the Corryvreckan, some 27km due east.
At 4pm, we pulled away from the beach, the wind having dropped almost to nothing, to begin the 15km crossing.
Thankful we were not crossing in the F5 I had anticipated, we appeared to make quick progress, until, seemingly having paddled for long enough to justify looking back at Colonsay, all sense of progress disappeared. 15km may not be the longest of crossings, but there is plenty of time spent on such a passage where the land in either direction appears not to change.
Three hours later, we tucked in beneath the beautiful west coast of Jura - I for one was ready to land and make camp.
Yet we had crossed to a point a little south of Shian Bay (I had reason to be glad of this later), and our second option - a small sandy cove marked on the map was distinctly lacking in sand, while rotting sea weed choked a boulder strewn shore which was pungent enough to put us of landing despite nearly four hours in the boats.
Rather lacking in enthusiasm by this point I paddled out once more, to round the headland which guards the entrance to Loch Tarbet. What a difference - a broad bay backed by sand and shingle - and no more than a few yards from the water, a perfect pitch.
Another late finish after 40km of paddling and as we pitched the tents, the first pastel shades of a beautiful sunset light the tops of the mountains of Mull - Ben More the higher summit on the right of the frame above.
Later still and I watched as the clouds burned above Colonsay - another dream realised - I hoped our luck would continue as we headed into the depths of Loch Tarbet tomorrow. 

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